Every time you catch a cold, you probably notice how clogged your nostrils become. This is often caused by the build-up of mucus due to infection, allergies, or irritation.
While it is naturally produced by the nose to protect your body from pollutants, mucus can also become counter-intuitive and prevent you from living as the healthiest version of yourself.
What is Mucus?
Respiratory mucus is a sticky gel-like substance that is naturally produced by membranes in the nose to serve as a lining for the respiratory system; lungs, throat, mouth, nose, and sinuses.
It is your body’s natural protector. When you inhale pollutants and harmful agents like bacteria, viruses, and dust, the mucus traps them in your nose, stopping them from infiltrating your body system and making you sick. When mucus gets to the stomach, we eventually pass it out as waste.
What happens when I have too much mucus?
In a natural and moderate state, mucus can do a lot of good for your body. It comprises antibodies and enzymes that can neutralize harmful bacteria inhaled through the air.
However, once polluted or produced in excess, it can prove to be a problematic thing. For example, when exposed to an airborne irritant (such as dust, pollen, etc), your nostrils can over-produce mucus. This can cause blockage and further infection.
You can also notice excessive mucus production as a symptom of more serious diseases such as bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or cystic fibrosis.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can occur either as emphysema or chronic bronchitis — and many people with this condition have both. Excess production can also be due to bronchiectasis - this occurs when your lungs lose their ability to effectively clear it out due to inflammation.
When you notice very thick mucus, it can be a sign of cystic fibrosis. This usually damages the mucus-producing cells, causing it to grow thick enough to clog the lungs and block the digestive system.
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